It is 1704 and, in the swamps of Louisiana, France is clinging on to its new colony with less than two hundred men. Into this hostile land comes Elisabeth Savaret, one of twenty-three women sent from Paris to marry men they have never met. With little expectation of happiness, Elisabeth is stunned to find herself falling passionately in love with her husband, infrantryman Jean-Claude Babelon.
But Babelon is a dangerous man to love. Witness to Elisabeth's devotion is another of his acolytes, Auguste, a young boy despatched to act as a go-between with the 'redskins'. When both Elisabeth and Auguste find their love challenged by Babelon's duplicity, the consequences are devastating.
Longlisted for the Orange Prize for Fiction 2010.
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The book is vivid with historical details, the characters intense with drama and feeling... A story to lose yourself in, an intense and satisfying read - The Times
Richly and densely textured, serious, intelligent, passionately written, and with more than a hint of gothic, the story pushes the reader to examine its central point: who are the savages? - Sunday Times
Well told, and well paced, with an easy narrative flow. The story offers strong personalities and a complicated, interesting plot...I felt secure in the accuracy of her picture of the time and place... Clare Clark's story and her history ring absolutely and very sadly true - Guardian
Intricately plotted and thick with intrigue, Savage Lands gives us an insight into an overlooked era - Times Literary Supplement
Clare Clark writes with the eyes of a historian and the soul of a novelist. - Amanda Foreman
This densely textured story forces readers to ask: who are the savages? - Sunday Times Culture
As Clare Clark's third novel so lushly illustrates, Louisiana has never been the safest place to live... this eye-opening account of Louisiana's early history conjures up a nicely gothic landscape - Independent
Clare Clark is the author of three highly acclaimed historical novels: The Great Stink, Savage Lands(both longlisted for the Orange Prize), The Nature of Monsters and Beautiful Lies. Born in 1967, she graduated from Trinity College, Cambridge with a double first in History, and now lives in London with her husband and two children.